The U.S. Senate has begun deliberation on a comprehensive energy bill that includes a provision eliminating mandatory third-party certification of products seeking to be listed under the ENERGY STAR® program.
The bill, known as the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, is a bipartisan measure that would address the modernization of nation’s energy infrastructure, including power grid and oil and gas transportation systems. The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), respectively the chairwoman and ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Energy Committee.
The proposed changes in third-party certification for ENERGY STAR labeling are detailed in Section 1104 of the over 400 page bill. Specifically, the bill would suspend for a period of at least 18 months mandatory third-party certification as a condition for ENERGY STAR listing. A company’s exemption from third-party certification would be terminated in any case in which at least two separate products are found to be non-compliant with the program’s requirements within a two year period.
While generally supportive of the overall goals of the energy bill, the Obama Administration has expressed concern regarding specific provisions of the bill, including those dealing with the elimination of independent certification requirements for ENERGY STAR products. The elimination of third-party certification is also opposed by the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL), as well as a number of testing organizations, including UL, CSA, NSF International and Intertek.